NBA Nickname Jerseys: Another Marketing Disaster

Behold, the latest effort from the marketing geniuses of the NBA’s jersey design department.  Assuming such a thing exists, of course:



Jesus Shuttlesworth.  Jesus, indeed.

Let us not forget the new Christmas day jerseys:

Or, indeed, last year’s Christmas Day jerseys:


Think about what you do for a living for a second.  Do you enjoy it?  Do you enjoy it so much that you’d rather do that than work for the NBA?  I have to imagine that most of you reading this either began with a “no” or at least ended up there after the second question.

Don’t you think you could have come up with something better than these?

The nickname jersey idea was mooted at the start of the season but has now become a horrific reality.

This is the National Basketball Association, the pinnacle of global basketball with marketing reach that most corporations would kill for.  For 82 games a season, a selection of the finest athletes alive today (and Kendrick Perkins) put their bodies on the line and stretch their physical abilities to the limit to play a game that we all love and a game that actually means something.  Basketball, and the NBA in particular, is a way out of bad social situations for so many young people in the United States, just as it is becoming in Northern Ireland today.  Look at the cross-community basketball organisations in Belfast alone; bringing kids together across previously insurmountable boundaries, in the name of basketball.

Look at LeBron James, born to a single teenage mother in the Akron ghetto.  Look at Derrick Rose, raised in Englewood, one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in Chicago.  Basketball brought them fame and riches.

My point is that basketball and the NBA in particular means something.  It’s a professional organisation that reaches to the heart of the global sporting community.

It is not a bunch of lads on a stag do in Magaluf.

Enough with the nickname jerseys already.


Andrew was something of a latecomer to the game of basketball, having given up rugby after leaving high school. Joining Edinburgh’s fabled Pentland Tigers, he quickly moved on to the East Lothian Peregrines in the Scottish national league before moving to Belfast where he played with Queens and then with Belfast Star. After a year in the superleague, he moved back to Scotland and played with the Scottish Rocks in the BBL. He “retired” (the McDermott rule for using the word “retire” instead of “stopped playing” does require you to have been paid to play, so technically he retired) and moved to Seattle where he began life as an academic, which currently sees him working at University College Dublin. He is a legitimate non-frontrunning Miami Heat fan, having taken up following the team in 2001.

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